PARAMEDICS will be helping out GPs over the winter in a bid to make sure anyone who needs medical attention gets it when they need it. 

GPs across Southend and Rochford will be supported by paramedics which will mean GPs will be able to spend more time with patients over the demanding winter period.

As part of the deal, paramedics will also undertake home visits, which saves travel time for GPs - about 30 minutes per visit - which then frees up more appointments in GP practices.

Kevin Regan is based at Queensway surgery, Southend, and is the home visiting clinician for eight surgeries in the area.

He works alongside an advanced nurse practitioner visiting elderly, housebound and acutely unwell patients within the community.

Kevin said: “The addition of paramedics, and other allied health care professionals, into the primary care setting is an exciting development.

"We bring with us a wealth of clinical experience that, when combined with primary care training, can make a significant impact on patient care.

"The time saved allows the GPs to spend more time within their surgery seeing more patients and managing more complex conditions.

"All of the staff and patients encountered so far have welcomed the service and recognise its benefits. I look forward to my continued work within the community and development of further paramedics to allow the service to grow and reach more patients.”

Expertise is also available at pharmacies, who can give treatments for minor health issues over the counter.